Government calls for more women councillors

Filed in Just In by July 22, 2021

LESS than a third of New South Wales councillors are female.

In an effort to change statistics, the Office of Local Government (OLG) are encouraging women to run for council at the upcoming local government elections on September 4.

A women’s only candidate information session will be held in Scone this Saturday, to help potential female candidates understand the role and responsibilities of a councillor, before candidate nominations open later this month.

See workshop details below.

The workshop will cover:

    • The benefits and importance of local government;
    • Understanding the role of Council and the role of a councillor;
    • A typical Council structure;
  • Challenges of the role and how to meet them;
  • The importance of diverse representation on Council;
  • The importance of speaking out on key issues;
  • An introduction to meeting procedures and rules of debate;
  • Support available including information and networks;
  • An introduction to local government jargon and what it means.

The OLG will also hold an additional online workshops to provide women with the tools and techniques to understand the process and how to campaign. 

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said women who attend the OLG workshops leave feeling more equipped and confident.

“Before the workshops, women were feeling unprepared and unsure, however, after completing the program, nearly all the participants said they felt ready to explore their options and consider running for council,” Ms Hancock said.

“Women who attended the workshops include single parents, pensioners, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, which is important when we consider we want local councils to represent the communities they’re ’re from,” she said.

Minister for Women and former Cooma-Monaro Councillor Bronnie Taylor said the additional online workshops will ensure even more women are empowered to stand for council.

“This is a great opportunity for women across the state to connect, support and encourage each other to run in their local elections,” Ms Taylor said.

“Ultimately, it’s about making sure more women are backed to stand up for what they believe in and represent their communities,” she said.

Earlier this month, Upper Hunter Shire councillors Lee Watts and Sue Abbott said they would like to see more diversity in Council.

Cr Watts and Cr Abbott reassured potential female candidates that support will always be available to them. 

Women’s only session presented by Colleen Fuller

Colleen serves as a Councillor for Gunnedah Shire Council and has been on the Executive Committee of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association NSW since 2006. During that time she has served as both President and Vice President.

Colleen has served on various committees at Gunnedah Shire including, Child Crime Prevention (chair), Mental Health Suicide Prevention (chair), Rural Fire Brigade, Day View member, CWA, Village Homes Committee, Challenge Disability Services, Hospital Advisory Board (chair), Domestic Violence Prevention (chair), Workshop Enterprises Gunnedah.

Colleen was winner of Local Government Rural Regional Councillor in 2010.

When: Saturday, July 24 from 10am to 12pm;

Where: Scone Council Chambers, 135 Liverpool Street, Scone;

Cost: Free;

Registration: Numbers for each of the sessions is strictly limited. Register your attendance here.

For further information regarding each session, contact Council on 02 6540 7290 or via email at: council@upperhunter.nsw.gov.au

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